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Oct 21, 2012 4:03pm EDT
understand how tea partiers perceive and how they conceive of entitlement programs in the united states. we talked about responsibility -- who is primarily responsible for saving for retirement? 72% of tea partiers thought that individuals should be primarily responsible for saving for retirement, compared to 56% -- still a majority, but 56% -- of non-tea-party supporters. we also talked about medicare. still less, but still a majority thought individuals should be responsible for paying for health insurance when they are retired. we asked them about opting out of entitlement programs like social security and medicare, and overwhelmingly -- almost 3/4 -- of tea partiers think this is fine. less than half of everyone else agrees. the same is true of medicare. this led me to wonder -- what explains the polling data out there that shows that tea partiers are unwilling to cut social security and medicare in order to balance the budget? everybody knows that the main drivers of our future budget deficits will be the result of our entitlement programs unless we change them. so why would it not be
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